Growing up, I didn't realize how much of an advantage it was to have a mom who could sew. Halloween costumes? Whichever ones we wanted. Leotards for my short-lived gymnastics career? In whatever patterns I chose. Distinct and incredible prom dress? Oh man, I was so stylish. Thanks, Mom!
So when I was introduced to a website where girls are able to be their own fashion designers and choose every aspect of their shirt, pants, dress, skirt, jacket and much more... I knew that this was a way that I could provide Big Sister E with an opportunity to enjoy personalizing her clothing almost like I when I was young. It may not be Mom-made, but Fashion Playtes still provides a truly unique experience.
Sitting down at the computer with Big Sister E, she was immediately drawn to the images of the stylish tweens on the screen. Even though she was a little on the young side, together we were able to have a great time selecting each option to make her apparel completely her own.
There are so many Fashion Playtes garments to choose from! "Do you want a t-shirt? How about a tank top? Look at these cute dresses!" I told Big Sister E. Each item has a different base price (with accessories like belts and headbands at $5 and going up to a denim jacket at $25) and I considered them all quite reasonable.
As I scrolled through the options, Big Sister E's face lit up when we arrived on The Hannah Hoodie (starting at $20). This slightly oversized signature look is definitely one that my daughter is a fan of and I agreed that it was a good choice. For anytime that it is a little cooler this summer or for all fall and winter, hoodies are a go-to item in her closet.
If I thought that there were a large number of clothing options, I wasn't prepared for all of the one-of-a-kind additions that were available to customize them. There were solid color options like Plum and Geranium and patterned choices like Pink Paisley and Sky Flowers and, my personal favorite, Dip Dye options that start lighter at the top and darken as you reach the bottom.
Strongly choosing Blue Moon for her hoodie, Big Sister E and I moved on to the many, many additions that can be added for each girl's own personal style. Big Sister E is a huge fan of pockets, so we added one to the front (for $4) and moved on to the nine other possibilities.
I really liked the way that Fashion Playtes showed us exactly where items like the ruffles or rosettes would be placed and how we just clicked, dragged and dropped them onto the hoodie to see how they would look. It was easy to remove any that we didn't like or replace one with the next if it turned out that we liked an appliqué more than the rhinestones. Which, it turned out, Big Sister E did. As soon as she saw the Little Brown Monkey appliqué (for $2.50), she was sold.
Not being overly girly, Big Sister E didn't opt for any of the other add-ons, but it was really fun to see them all and I'm sure that slightly older girls would have a great time selecting just the right one for their look. There is even an option to personalize a tag to show off their creativity as fashion designers!
Instead, we decided that what is a shirt without pants? The Phaedra Flared Capri Leggings (with matching monkey appliqué, of course) completed Big Sister E's time being a designer and finished her ensemble.
A few weeks later, Big Sister E's package arrived. Wrapped in cute flower paper, she wasn't sure what was inside but she was pretty excited to open it up and see. And as she pulled each garment out and I reminded her of designing her "blue monkey clothes" she couldn't stop grinning.
As seen in her modeling picture above, Big Sister E is quite proud of her fashion skills. Both her shirt and pants are a nice cotton and spandex blend that feel soft and comfortable on her skin. It turned out that the Blue Moon shades ended up being slightly different (the pants are lighter than the hoodie) but it isn't hugely noticeable... and the cuteness does overshadow that.
Because Fashion Playtes is recommended for ages 5 - 12 (sizes run from 6 - 14), Big Sister E's are slightly large on her, which just means that these will last through even more seasons of wear. And when she does finally outgrow them, she'll be able to head back and create an entirely new outfit tailored just for her. What a great idea for a special occasion (a custom birthday party outfit, perhaps?) or in gift certificate form for a present that is sure to please.
Keep up with Fashion Playtes news and information by subscribing to their newsletter, reading their blog and becoming a Facebook fan. The young girl in your life will thank you!
(I was provided with a gift certificate from Fashion Playtes to facilitate my review, however I was not enticed to do this review in any way. This review is solely my opinion of this website and its fun fashion possibilities)